Chemistry: Comparing the Rf values of carotene and lycopene?

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madgab89
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Comparing the Rf values of carotene and lycopene?
Why does carotene have a higher Rf value than lycopene in TLC chromatography with a silica plate and a solvent of (3:10) dicholormethane:hexane?

I know it's because carotene is less polar making it more soluble in the TLC solvent and adsorbing less to the stationary phase, what I'm wondering is, what is it about the structure of beta-carotene compared to lycopene that makes this happen?

There are rings on either end of carotene, I know this.. I'm just wondering how this relates?
 

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  • #2
TeethWhitener
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Your answer is about as good as it’s going to get. Solubility and partition coefficients into and out of mobile phase vs stationary phase are very difficult to predict for individual cases, and lycopene and carotene are both quite non polar.
 

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